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NSTF, BHP Billiton announce science and technology award winners

28th June 2013 BY: Natasha Odendaal
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
Derek Hanekom
Photo by: Duane Daws
Derek Hanekom

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), in partnership with BHP Billiton, this week presented 12 awards for outstanding contributions to science, engineering, technology and innovation (Seti).

Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom on Thursday presented the honours at the fifteenth NSTF–BHP Billiton awards gala dinner, held in Gauteng.

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University of Pretoria (UP) professor and director of the Mammal Research Unit and director of the University of Cape Town (UCT)/Medical Research Council Receptor Biology Group Professor Robert Millar was honoured for an outstanding contribution to Seti over a lifetime.

UP professor and head of the Zoonoses Research Unit and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis Unit Professor Marietjie Venter and UCT Pola Pasvolsky professor in Conservation Biology Graeme Cumming were awarded the T W Kambule National Research Foundation (NRF)–NSTF Awards for an outstanding contribution to Seti through research and its outputs over the past five to ten years.

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NRF-sponsored awards for emerging researchers who make an outstanding contribution to Seti through research and its outputs over a period of up to six years awards were handed to University of the Free State Department of Plant Sciences senior lecturer Dr Marieka Gryzenhout and UP Carl and Emily Fuchs Institute for Microelectronics director Professor Saurabh Sinha.

The individual award for an outstanding contribution to Seti through management and related activities over the last five to ten years or less was awarded to a Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project team comprising SKA SA GM for infrastructure and site operations Tracy Cheetham, 
SKA SA GM for people support and development, communications and project secretariat Kim de Boer, MeerKAT project manager Willem Esterhuyse, SKA SA project director Dr Bernard Fanaroff
 and SKA site bid manager Dr Adrian Tiplady.

University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) professor of Physical Metallurgy at the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering and Department of Science and Technology/NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials director Professor Lesley Cornish and Mintek director and head of the Nanotechnology Innovation Centre Dr Robert Tshikhudo 
received Eskom-sponsored honours as researchers for outstanding contributions to Seti through research capacity development over the last five to ten years.

Wits Applied Mathematics and Astronomy 
Professor David Block received the individual or team award, sponsored by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement, for an outstanding contribution to Seti through communication for outreach and creating awareness over the past five years.

The Adaptive Real-Time Internet Streaming Technology team – a collaborative effort between the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), UCT and East Coast Access – led by team leader CSIR chief engineer and research group leader Dr Keith Ferguson won an award in the category for an individual or a team’s outstanding contribution to Seti through research leading to innovation within a corporate organisation or institution, as did the Ultrasonic Broken Rail Detection CSIR and Institute for Maritime Technology (IMT) team, led by the CSIR Materials Science and Manufacturing Operating Unit’s Dr Phillip Loveday, and IMT's Francois Burger.

The Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises award – sponsored by the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme – went to the JS1 Development team, headed by team leader and head of engineering at North-West University Dr Attie Jonker.

No award was presented in the category for nongovernment, community-based or nonprofit organisations. 

EDITED BY: Chanel de Bruyn Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
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